Former News International UK head of security settles Employment Tribunal claim

hmctsThe former head of security at the UK arm of News International has settled his claims against the company after an agreement was reached between the parties.

Mark Hanna withdrew his Employment Tribunal claims against News International for unfair dismissal and ‘whistleblowing’ after he revealed that a settlement had been reached with the organisation.

Mr Hanna, who joined News International in 2009, made his claims against the news conglomerate after he was dismissed in 2011 for redundancy. Prior to being dismissed from his position Mr Hanna was cleared of criminal charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice and was on an extended absence of leave whilst he was awaiting trial.

Having been cleared of all charges against him Mr Hanna stated that he “fully expected” to be returning to his position as head of security at the organisation but that the business kept “fobbing [him] off” and suggesting that he took more leave.

The former head of security claimed he was “shocked” when he was told that he was going to be made redundant and made a Youtube video in September which claimed that at his Employment Tribunal, which was originally scheduled to commence on 30 November 2015, he was going to “shock everybody as well as revealing what it was like working in what was, or is certainly becoming, one of the most hated organisations in the UK”.

Mr Hanna also claimed that he had made over 250 job applications since his dismissal but had been unable to obtain a new job because of the “stigma” of being involved in the criminal case against Rebekah Brooks, which concluded with Mrs Brooks being acquitted on all charges last year.

It has subsequently emerged that Mr Hanna has settled and withdrawn his claims against News International. After settling and withdrawing his claims against the organisation Mr Hanna stated: “I am grateful that we have been able to resolve this matter amicably. I am very much looking forward to putting this difficult period of my life behind me and moving on.”

Mr Hanna also stated: “I posted a YouTube video on 3 September 2015, in which I made allegations regarding illegal activity by the Company and its representatives. Prior to reaching settlement with the Company and making this statement, the Company provided me and my representatives with documents and additional information not previously available to me that shed light on my allegations. Having reviewed this material, I no longer believe the allegations I made to be true. I am also satisfied that I was not dismissed because of any protected disclosure.”

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “If Mr Hanna had taken his claims to the Employment Tribunal then he would have had to convince the Tribunal that he had been dismissed because of any alleged protected disclosures that he made to the organisation, rather than because of a genuine redundancy situation. However, the matter has now settled and his evidence will not be challenged at an Employment Tribunal hearing.”